HFAM - Version II - Hydrologic Software
The distribution and use of hydrologic software for forecasting reservoir inflows and streamflows, and the distribution of software for the analysis of reservoir inflow and demand probabilities for optimization of reservoir operations has been done by software downloads and installations on local computers. It is challenging to keep this software current as computer operating systems and hardware evolve. Reservoir operators typically do not have time to update operations software.
The first WWW conference was held at CERN in 1994. The world-wide explosion in web capabilities and access began in 1998, and reliable high speed data communication is now ubiquitous. It is feasible to run hydrologic and optimization software for reservoir operations as a 'distributed computing' application. The work is shared by virtual servers and local computers.
The benefits of distributed computing for hydrologic and optimization software for reservoir operation are;
- Local computers (include SCADA systems) maintain meteorological and opertational data series ( reservoir levels, reservoir demands and constraints, weather forecasts, precipitation, temperatures, streamflows, etc.). Physical characteristics of watersheds and civil works (reservoir elevation-storage data, hydro plant capacities) are stored locally. These these data may or may not be in an SQL database.
- Watershed initial conditions (snow packs, reservoir levels) are modeled and stored on servers. Initial conditions can be updated with observed data data stored on local computers.
- Local data are mirrored by server data and data are exchanged frequently.
- Local computers transfer data, make model runs and view results via Remote Desktop Connections to servers. HFAM II runs on high reliability virtual servers (Hyper-V Microsoft Windows 2008 Web. Ed./IIS7 at myhosting.com).
- Server data for each watershed are in separate password protected files.
- HFAM II is maintained and updated as necessary by Hydrcomp so the software remains current.
- Assistance with software, or with model input and results, can be provided efficiently. Remote access to modeling data is limited when data are on local computers; erroneous data are not easily found. Obsolescent software on local computers seriously limits assistance, a limitation that is not present when server software is continuously updated.